Tysons, VA

Morning Notes

Vienna Police Announce Drug Take Back Day — The Vienna Police Department will host a collection site for old, expired, unused, and unwanted medications at its temporary facility (301 Center Street) on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The one-day event is part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take Back initiative. [Vienna Police Department]

Capital One Hall Season Two Applications Due May 1 — Tysons’ new performing arts venue won’t open until October, but the deadline is already approaching for community arts groups to apply for space in the second season, which will begin on Sept. 1, 2022. The nonprofit ArtsFairfax is managing the application process on Fairfax County’s behalf. [Fairfax County Government]

Tysons Media Company Launches Lifestyle TV Network — “Tysons, Virginia-based Tegna Inc., owner of 64 television stations including WUSA9 in D.C., has launched a 24-hour, women-oriented lifestyle and reality TV network called Twist — and watching it comes with a twist as well.” [WTOP]

Vienna to Bring Back In-Person “Walk on the Hill” Event — The Town of Vienna’s annual spring Walk on the Hill program will return on April 25 with self-guided garden tours and live entertainment. COVID-19 protocols mean that the event will be limited to 500 total attendees, and participants must sign up in advance for one of two shifts.” [Town of Vienna]

Fairfax County Police Coming to Mosaic District — “Join Fairfax County Police Department at Mom and Pop on April 13 from 10am-12pm. Please adhere to all social distancing guidelines: maintain a 6-foot distance and please wear a face covering.” [Mosaic District/Twitter]

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(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) Framebridge is officially open for business at the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

The custom framing company opened its doors for the first time today at 11 a.m. Located in Suite 165 at 2910 District Ave, this is Framebridge’s sixth store overall and its first in Virginia, though a Clarendon location is slated to open later this spring.

A Union Market store in downtown D.C. is also in the works, according to the company’s website.

Based in D.C., Framebridge launched in 2014 as an entirely online retail startup but began expanding into brick-and-mortar stores with its locations in D.C. and Bethesda, Md., in 2019.

Founder and CEO Susan Tynan says she wanted to stay true to the company’s “neighborhood concept” by expanding in the D.C. area.

“The Mosaic District was an obvious choice because we have a lot of existing online customers nearby, but we can also reach new customers shopping at all of the other great restaurants and stores in the center,” Tynan said. “We love the community of brands and organizations in Mosaic, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

She adds that the first item they had framed in the Mosaic store was a souvenir from the Washington Nationals’ 2019 World Series championship.

To celebrate its arrival in Merrifield, Framebridge is offering to frame “mementos from customers’ personal achievements” for free if they book a 30-minute session with a design consultant, a spokesperson says. The offer lasts through April 11.

The store says walk-in customers are welcome, but the number of patrons allowed inside at one time is being limited to ensure adequate social distancing as part of its COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks are required for both customers and employees.

Hand sanitizer is being provided in the store. Employees also clean their work stations, surfaces, and devices after every consultation and undergo health screenings when they arrive each day, according to Framebridge.

Photo courtesy Framebridge

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The weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining longer, but spring really arrives in D.C. when the thousands of cherry trees around the Tidal Basin start to bloom.

Organizers announced on March 1 that this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 20 through April 11. The National Park Service currently predicts that the flowers will be in peak bloom sometime between April 2 and 5.

With COVID-19 still posing health risks after mostly shutting down last year’s showcase, the 2021 festival has been reimagined in a less concentrated format with a combination of in-person and virtual activities that will encompass the entire D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

In addition to promoting regionwide events, such as the “Art in Bloom” sculptures and “Petal Porch Parade,” Fairfax County will host events of its own in coordination with the larger festival, many of them designed to showcase local gardens and parks or celebrate the coming of spring.

Supported by Visit Fairfax, the county’s official tourism organization, the festivities include:

  • Festival Central (March 20-April 11): The Fairfax County Visitor Center at Tysons Corner Center will provide free cherry blossom-themed souvenirs and information about the festival. It will also host its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Day from 1-3 p.m. on March 27, which will feature a calligraphy demonstration.
  • The Science Behind Flowers (March 20-April 11): A program on botanical chemistry, invasive and native plants, ecological restoration, and other flower-related topics will stream online throughout the festival, courtesy of the Children’s Science Center.
  • Spring Fling Tour (March 27): Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon will have “special stations” throughout its nature trail “to build a fairy house” and provide Japanese tea at its meeting house.
  • Wabi-Sabi: Embracing Imperfection (March 28): Alexandria’s Green Spring Gardens will host a program on wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy focused on finding beauty in an imperfect natural world. Attendees will get tea samples and traditional sweets in an optional tea box. The event costs $12-24 and requires advance online registration.
  • Spring-Themed Drive-in Movies (April 3-4): Mosaic District is resuming its drive-in movie screenings with a pair of double features, starting with “Mary Poppins” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” followed by “Hop” and “42.” Tickets cost $28 per car and can be purchased online.
  • Community Market and Workshops (April 10): The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton will feature cherry blossom-inspired artwork, a marketplace, and various workshops, including origami crafts, haiku contests, and Japanese drumming.
  • Plants & Design (April 10): Led by horticulturalist Bevan Shimizu, Green Spring Gardens will offer a virtual, hour-long program about Japanese-style garden design. The program costs $18 and requires advance registration.

Visit Fairfax also advises residents and visitors to take the opportunity provided by the festival to tour the county’s parks, including Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, which has a lake surrounded by more than 100 cherry trees.

Though the format is different this year, Visit Fairfax president and CEO Barry Biggar says the influx of tourism that typically accompanies the annual cherry blossom festival has long benefitted not just the nation’s capital, but also the D.C. region as a whole.

“The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the nation’s greatest celebrations of spring and Visit Fairfax has been a proud supporter for many, many years,” Biggar said. “…People may come because they are familiar with the blossoms along the Tidal Basin, but we encourage visitors and residents to also explore some of the wonderful cultural events and attractions, spacious gardens and parks, and beautiful cherry trees that exist beyond the city.”

The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. on March 20 with a virtual opening ceremony. A full programming guide can be found on the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

Photo courtesy Visit Fairfax

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Pop-Up Florist Coming to Mosaic District — The clothing retailer Anthropologie (2910 District Ave., Suite 100) is hosting a Valentine’s Day pop-up with the florist Studio Fleuraison from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 13). Purchases can be made in the store or as pre-orders. [Mosaic District/Twitter]

Fairfax County School Board Approves CIP — The Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Program includes construction of a Dunn Loring Elementary School, partial funding for a Silver Line Elementary School, the James Madison High School addition, and renovations for four schools in the Tysons area. The school board approved the package when it met on Thursday (Feb. 4). [FCPS]

Sunrise Senior Living Names New CEO — “Sunrise Senior Living, the McLean company that operates more than 330 senior living facilities, has named Jack Callison Jr. its new CEO. Callison replaces Chris Winkle, who said in December he would step down after more than six years in the role.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fairfax Health District Hiring for Pandemic Response — The Fairfax County Health Department is looking to hire 100 individuals to support its COVID-19 vaccination and pandemic response efforts. Open positions include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses that would join the vaccination team on a part-time, temporary basis. [Fairfax County Health Department]

Fairfax County Public School Trains Teachers for Concurrent Learning — Teachers at Holmes Middle School are learning how to use technology that will enable them to work with in-person and online students at the same time. The training is preparing them for about half of the school’s students to return for in-person instruction on Feb. 16. [ABC7-WJLA]

Photo via Beyond DC/Flickr

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The Japanese barbecue restaurant Gyu Shige is finally ready to make its American debut at the Mosaic District (2980 District Ave.) in Merrifield after a long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Edward Wong says the restaurant will open its reservation system tomorrow (Wednesday) so people can book tables ahead of a soft opening planned for the weekend of Valentine’s Day. Doors will technically open earlier in the week, but customers for the first couple of days will be limited to family and friends.

Gyu Shige has a strong presence in Japan, but this is the chain’s first venture into the U.S.

Wong was introduced to Gyu Shige — one of several brands operated by the company Food’s Style — in Japan about two years ago, and he says he has “great confidence” that it will prove just as popular on this side of the Pacific Ocean, particularly with a setting like the Mosaic District as its launching pad.

“Mosaic District definitely has [a] combination of all different people, from young kids to older people,” Wong said. “…I believe the Japanese barbeque experience is not just for any group, so it will be a great place to attract all kinds of people.”

While Fairfax County diners are no strangers to sushi restaurants and noodle shops like fellow Mosaic tenant Jinya Ramen Bar, they might be less familiar with Japanese barbecue, or yakiniku, which literally translates to “grilled meat.” Before Gyu Shige’s arrival, the closest venue specializing in this kind of cuisine was Gyu-kaku in Arlington.

Like Korean barbecue, yakiniku is cooked at the diners’ table, but it tends to come in smaller portions to encourage patrons to try a variety of dishes, and there is a greater emphasis on the quality of the meat cuts served, Wong says.

Among the options on the menu for Gyu Shige customers will be A-5 grade wagyu beef imported from Japan.

“The taste is definitely different from Korean barbeque, and we want people to take the time to enjoy the whole process,” Wong said. “…We also offer the service to cook for them if they want to, but we mostly let them cook for themselves. Let them experience it. Let them have fun with it.”

In addition to yakiniku, Gyu Shige will have a variety of appetizers and sushi, which will be prepared by a former Sushi Seki chef. The restaurant’s head chef also comes from New York City, where he previously worked for EN Brassiere.

The appetizers and sushi will be available for takeout, but the barbecue can only be served in-person and indoors, another potential challenge presented by COVID-19. Wong says the pandemic led to a three-month halt to construction. Even after work resumed, progress was slowed since fewer people could be on the site, resulting in an overall delay of about a year.

Initially, Gyu Shige customers will need to reserve tables in advance, and the restaurant will only be open during dinner hours, which will run from 4-10 p.m. The menu will also be exclusively a la carte, though set meals will be added in the future.

“When people order the set menu, they tend not to order other stuff. So, right now, we’re going to put the meat into a combo menu,” Wong said. “That way, people can experience most of the meat, but at the same time, they can get to choose their own appetizer, their own other items and try it out.”

In addition to Gyu Shige, local diners can look forward to the opening of Urban Hot Pot right next door. Tysons Reporter first reported that the Chinese restaurant was coming to the Mosaic District in September 2019.

After being delayed by the pandemic, Urban Hot Pot is now on track to open in May, according to Wong, president and CEO of IVEA International Restaurant Group, which is guiding the marketing for both restaurants.

Photo courtesy Gyu Shige/Facebook

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Winter Weather Advisory Extended to 1 P.M. — The National Weather Service has extended its winter weather advisory for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, to 1 p.m. today due to “lingering snow bands.” There could be up to two inches of snow accumulation, and slippery roads could make the morning commute hazardous. [NWS]

Metro to Change Lost-and-Found Policy, Citing Budget Constraints — “Beginning March 1, Metro’s lost and found department will work to reunite customers with lost wallets and electronics (such as phones, tablets, and laptops) only. All other items lost in the system will be disposed of, donated to charity, destroyed, or auctioned.” [WMATA]

Mosaic District Partners with Virginia Plunge Again — The Polar Plunge Festival is the signature annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Virginia. In past years, the Mosaic District has hosted the Plunge, but due to the pandemic, the usual in-person event has been replaced by a week of festivities, culminating in a virtual ceremony on Saturday (Feb. 6). Registration is now open. [Mosaic District/Twitter, Polar Plunge]

Tysons-Based Media Company Buys Sports Podcast Network — “Tegna wants a bigger piece of the podcast action: The TV station group announced the acquisition of Locked On Podcast Network, which produces some 160 daily shows for teams across the U.S.’s four major pro sports leagues and more than 30 colleges.” [Variety]

Justice High School Graduate Drafted by Washington Spirit — “When the Washington Spirit returns to the field this spring, local fans may spot a familiar face at forward–Falls Church native Anna Heilferty. After graduating from Boston University this winter, Heilferty was selected 19th overall by the Spirit in the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League Draft.” [Washingtonian]

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Thursday Morning Notes

Broad and Washington Project Unanimously Approved — “A major mixed use development project at the City of Falls Church’s central intersection of Washington and Broad Streets (Rts. 29 and 7) to feature a huge new Whole Foods grocery was approved unanimously by the F.C. City Council Monday night.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Bloomingdale’s to Experiment with Downsized Store at Mosaic District — “The retailer’s small-format concept, dubbed Bloomie’s, is set to open this fall in Virginia’s Mosaic District shopping complex, reported FN’s sister publication WWD. It’s expected to span roughly 22,000 square feet — a departure from the chain’s average department store size, which measures about 200,000 square feet.” [Footwear News, Mosaic District/Twitter]

Virginia Extends COVID-19 Restrictions Through February — Gov. Ralph Northam has extended mask requirements and restrictions on social gatherings through the end of February. He also announced that the state will get a greater supply of vaccine and addressed questions about a gap between doses distributed and doses administered in a news conference on Wednesday. [Patch]

First Responders Flash Lights for Kids at Inova Children’s Hospital — “Tonight, we were honored to participate in a “flashlight salute” at @InovaHealth Children’s Hospital along with @DLVFRD and @FairfaxCountyPD. We turned on our emergency lights and shined our flashlights at the kids and they returned the favor!” [Vienna Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter]

Virginia Makes COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards Permanent — “The new regulations, approved last week by Gov. Ralph Northam, require all employers in the state to provide personal protective equipment when workers can’t physically distance, close or control access to common areas like lunchrooms, develop safe “return to work” plans for workers recovering from COVID-19, and regularly clean areas with heavy foot traffic, among other measures. Employees who interact with the public must wear masks.” [DCist]

Photo via Vienna Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter

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F45 Training is moving into the Mosaic District.

Construction is currently underway on the boutique, high-intensity gym franchise’s latest site at 2980 District Ave., which is currently home to the education center Kumon and expects to also add the Japanese barbeque restaurant Gyu-shige soon.

Husband-and-wife owners Kerri Palmer and Earl Pinto decided to bring F45 to the Mosaic District after trying out the franchise’s site at The Boro.

F45’s approach to workouts appealed to both of them, which Palmer says is a rarity, and they thought it would be a good fit for the Mosaic District based on the other businesses in the development and the number of residents and visitors it attracts.

“I think that the Mosaic District is magical, and I actually think it’s going to be one of the best territories that F45 will have,” Palmer said. “…Our business is one that has a great energy and a great vibe to it, and I think Mosaic District aligns with that as well.”

Palmer says F45’s functional training classes differ from other gyms because the workouts continually change, rather than relying on the same routines and equipment.

“It’s really engaging, and it challenges your body in different ways than the traditional gym would challenge your body,” she said.

Acknowledging that some people might be skeptical of a gym opening during a pandemic, Palmer expressed confidence in F45’s COVID-19 protocols. Studios across the franchise are placed at five tiers that range from all-virtual to fully open depending on the public health situation of their individual locations.

F45 Mosaic will determine what approach to take once it gets closer to opening.

While the process of establishing the business has taken longer than anticipated, Palmer says their landlord and contractor, as well as Fairfax County staff have been supportive as she and Pinto have navigated unfamiliar territory.

This is their first attempt at starting a business together. Palmer works in the banking industry, while Pinto has a government job.

Palmer and Pinto have been documenting the construction process with regular updates on the F45 Mosaic Facebook and Instagram pages.

The current plan is to hold a soft opening for F45 Mosaic in May and a grand opening in June, “as long as everything continues to meet the timelines we have, and we’re very optimistic that will happen,” Palmer said.

Photo courtesy F45

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(Updated at 12:05 p.m. on 1/26/2021) The Mosaic District in Merrifield is getting a new men’s salon: Boardroom Salon for Men (2920 District Ave., Suite 165), slated to open its doors on Saturday (Jan. 30).

This location marks Boardroom Salon’s debut in the D.C. area. The salon got its start in 2004 in Southlake, Texas, and has since expanded to 42 locations across the U.S. Its co-founders — husband-and-wife duo Bruce and Heather Schultz — plan to continue growing this year.

“The Mosaic District brings a distinct community atmosphere to Northern Virginians looking for upscale retail, residential, restaurant and entertainment offerings,” Boardroom Salon Fairfax Manager Nicole Morales said in a statement. “We look forward to introducing Boardroom with our professional talented stylists and barbers to clients who want an elevated grooming experience in a sophisticated yet still approachable way.”

The salon features dark-wood paneling and a lounge with oversized leather chairs and complimentary beverages. Its signature haircut service, The Benchmark, provides tailored haircuts, massages, a steamed towel, a parrafin hand dip, and styling advice.

For COVID-19 safety, team members wear masks and gloves and take their temperatures before each shift.

Clients can purchase one-month, six-month, or annual memberships, which provide unlimited haircut services and a 10% discount on all products and services, as well as complimentary referral Benchmark haircuts to give to friends and family.

Memberships are honored at all Boardroom locations, which can also be found in Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. The salon is also planning to open a venue in Maryland.

In honor of the opening, Boardroom Salon is offering discounts and promotions. A limited number of Founder’s Memberships are available, giving buyers exclusive discounts and a branded Boardroom silver beverage tumbler. Clients can also buy discounted three-month haircut memberships, starting at $125.

Boardroom will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The salon is also seeking applicants for stylist and front-of-house positions.

Photo courtesy Boardroom Salon for Men

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(Updated on 1/22/2021) Several restaurants in the Tysons area will take part in Metropolitan Washington Winter Restaurant Week starting next Monday (Jan. 25).

For two weeks through Feb. 7, restaurants around the D.C. region will offer prix fixe meals for two or four people. Takeout and delivery options are available, with some venues offering only “to go” meals.

Lunch and brunch meals for one cost $22. There are two dinner menus: one for $35 (or $60 for two people and $120 for four), and one for $55 ($100 for two, $200 for four).

Organized by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, the annual restaurant week was originally scheduled to launch this week but got delayed by one week “in consideration of the fluid nature of activities and regulatory measures” affecting the area, according to RAMW website.

The following local restaurants will take part in the promotional week:

Tysons

  • Randy’s Prime Seafood and Steaks: lunch and $55 dinner menu (no takeout)
  • Founding Farmers: lunch, $35 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining available)
  • Chima Steakhouse: $35 and $55 dinner menus (no takeout, delivery, or outdoor dining)
  • Fogo de Chao: two dinners for $60 (takeout and delivery only)
  • Wildfire Tysons Galleria: lunch, $35 and $55 dinner menus, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout and delivery only)
  • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood: $35 dinner menu only (takeout and delivery only)
  • American Prime: lunch and $55 dinner menus, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout and outdoor dining available)
  • Agora Tysons: $35 and $55 dinner menus, cocktail and wine pairings (indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery available)

Vienna

  • Maple Ave. Restaurant: $35 dinner menu only (takeout only)
  • Caboose Brewing Company: lunch and $35 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery available)
  • Blend 111: brunch, lunch, $35 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout and outdoor dining available)

McLean

  • The Capital Grille: lunch and $55 dinner menu (takeout and delivery available for Restaurant Week to-go dinner orders)
  • J. Gilbert’s: lunch, $35 and $55 dinner menus, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout and delivery available)

Falls Church

  • 2941 Restaurant: $55 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (dine-in, takeout, and delivery available)
  • Trio Grill: $55 dinner menu only (outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery available)

Mosaic District

  • Alta Strada: brunch, lunch, $35 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery available)
  • Matchbox Pizza: $55 dinner menu, cocktail and wine pairings (takeout only)

Tysons area restaurants could get another boost this spring, when the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce is planning to host a second Tysons Restaurant Week after the inaugural one proved to be a success in October.

Correction: This article has been updated to note that 2941 Restaurant and Agora are offering their Restaurant Week menus for dine-in customers as well, not just for takeout and delivery as previously stated.

Fatimah Waseem contributed to this report.

Staff photo by Ashley Hopko

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